Another Question

Mannnnnnnnnn. 
I'm just full of questions. I am 19 days out from getting a CRT-P and it is SO big and feels SO close to the surface. I had to really feel my chest to find my previous pm was it was nearly completely flat.This feels like it sticks out about 1/4 inch. Also, it is so painful to the touch and sends out random shooting pain that sting like a bee. I know it hasn't been that long but the entire area above the pacemaker feels like the nerves are all just under my skin. Any words of wisdom??? 
Cheers,
Damie Rodriguez


5 Comments

Some of the increased size is temporary swelling

by crustyg - 2020-12-09 04:23:08

The CRT box is larger - three leads have to fit, bigger battery - so they've had to enlarge the pocket that it fits in.  This is a fairly brutal stretching/tearing apart the layers (called blunt dissection and it separates the tissues along their natural lines which is good) and this is a) painful - by far the worst part of the PM+leads implantation process, b) causes inflammation which results in swelling and soreness.

Most of this swelling and soreness should be gone in a week or so, but the more that you touch and pat the swelling the longer it takes and the more that it hurts.  19days is starting to sound like a long time: is the redness getting better or worse?  Take a photo and compare - nothing like objective evidence to put your mind at rest.  If it's *not* getting better and the swelling or redness is worse, get back in touch with the EP-doc who did the implantation and get a face-to-face review.

You probably *will* feel lightning twinges from the pocket for some time - depending on what exercises you do, you might get the occasional twinge for months, but it settles down over time.

Words of wisdom ?

by Gemita - 2020-12-09 04:31:12

Yes you are keeping us busy and on our toes Damie !!

My thoughts, well the usual ones of giving it a bit more time for healing would be my first answer - I would allow at least up to 6 weeks to start to feel better around device area.  And with adequate healing there will hopefully be fewer symptoms, like inflammation, swelling, sensitivity, nerve related pain in the area.  Once you are fully healed your device should feel more comfortable too and be less noticeable, although as crustyg says a CRT device will be a larger unit because of the extra lead and battery size. Hopefully this is a small price to pay for the additional help that you will eventually receive from your new device therapy.

During healing I kept my device well padded and covered to prevent friction rub from bra straps.

Of course for any worsening symptoms like redness, swelling, oozing from the wound or unusual pain that doesn't stop, I would get a medical opinion.  Any update on your lead problem ?  It sounds as though there may be a few things going on here to account for any discomfort.  I send my best wishes for some early relief from your symptoms

Recent CRT-P

by Aberdeen - 2020-12-09 09:17:19

Stormynw, I had a CRT-P pacemaker implanted in May of this year. Like you I felt it was bulkier than my previous pacemaker(dual lead pacemaker) . I also had weird shooting pains (almost like electrical sharp pulses) I am glad to say that after a couple of months the pacemaker looked less obvious and the pains faded. Good luck with your recovery!

 

Healing

by Gotrhythm - 2020-12-09 15:10:52

Regenerating nerves can send out all sorts of odd sensations. Feelings like from a bee sting, sometimes an ant bite, are actually fairly common.

Fortunately they go away in time.

CRT-P vs PM

by stormynw - 2020-12-10 06:34:43

I actually went to the website for my previous (Biotronik) and looked up the specs then went to St. Jude and got the specs for the new CRT-P and the CRT is believe it or not thinner then the Biotronik. They offered me my old pacemaker and at first I said no but then immediately changed my mind I figured my grandkiddos might be interested.
Anyway overall the new one while thinner is definitely bigger at
.24 x 2.2 x 2.32 inches and my old one was .26 x 1.77 x 2.09 inches strangely they weigh nearly the same at 26 and 25 g. (less than 1 oz.) 
I was able to size them as photos to show actual size and it is fairly significant. I was going to post a picture of the two side by side but can't figure out how to do it. All I have is the one of me on the field before a Seahawks game :)  I know there was another member who mentioned checking out her picture of her pacemaker and she had lots of photos. If I can figure out how to add it I'll let you all know. And . . . Thank you for all the input!
Damie Rodriguez                        

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